The European Union is Europe’s largest single market and has the power to coordinate infrastructure projects across its member countries. The leading transportation industries in the European Union generate several million jobs and over 1.3 trillion euros in turnover. This makes the EU particularly attractive for infrastructure projects such as the Brenner base tunnel and the Lyon-Turin rail link, which recorded over 1.5 and 1.2 billion euros, respectively, in funding between 2018 and 2019.
A strong international presenceModal split varies substantially from one European country to the next and is attributable to numerous factors such as convenience, transport mode quality, and ticket prices. Low-cost airlines within the EU tend to attract passengers to travel via their services, with Europe-led companies such as Ryanair, International Airlines, and Lufthansa ranking among the most valuable passenger airlines worldwide as of April 2021.
Freight transport plays an equally pivotal role in Europe’s transport industry, contributing to regional economic growth and competitiveness. The logistics sector in Europe is dominated by Germany, the United Kingdom, and France; key players in the European freight market include Kühne + Nagel, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, and Deutsche Post DHL. These companies’ successes transcended European borders, becoming three of the world’s leading logistic companies in 2020 and, in the case of A.P. Møller–Maersk, one of the leading global ship operators as of March 2022.
Market disruptions boosted by the pandemicAlthough Europe’s road transportation market dominates other modes in the EU, it remains incredibly volatile, with forecasts showing a reduction in car purchases in Europe over the next ten years. This could partially be due to the advent of popular mobility service providers (MSPs) which are particularly attractive in Europe for cost and environmental reasons. User concern surrounding more innovative travel solutions is decreasing, and, in December 2020, more people reported interest in using fully autonomous vehicle-based mobility services compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The road freight transportation industry also faced disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak: European freight forwarder firms expected a decline in business revenue during at least 2020, and the pandemic also slowed border crossing times for trucks throughout Europe. A few European countries further experienced a decrease in truck drivers between 2016 and 2020, with the United Kingdom hit the hardest as it contended with both the pandemic and the effects of Brexit. Despite these challenges, European road freight was expected to expand by 2.2 percent in 2021, with demand picking up as national restrictions lessened.